Portuguese egg tarts were evolved from "pastel de nata", a traditional Portuguese custard pastry that consists of custard in a crème brûlée-like consistency caramelized in a puff pastry case. It was created more than 200 years ago by Catholic Sisters at Jerónimos Monastery (Portuguese:Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) at Belém in Lisbon. Casa Pastéis de Belém was the first pastry shop outside of the convent to sell this pastry in 1837. I remember having these in Lisbon and they were amazing!! I have tried to re-create it at home but it's not quite the same. However, it's good enough to fill the void :) Plus you can make almond biscotti with the leftover egg whites!
Makes 10 of size shown
1 packet puff pastry
1 vanilla pod
3 tablespoons cornflour
6 egg yolks, beaten
- Preheat oven to 180.
- Cut pastry into 4 pieces. Roll to thickness of 3mm. Cut into 10 pieces and use to line muffin tins.
- Heat sugar, milk and vanilla seeds in saucepan.
- When the mixture is hot, take 3 tablespoons from the pan and mix with the cornflour to create a paste.
- Pour back into the milk and gently heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in egg yolks.
- Pour mixture into each pastry case and bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is lightly browned on top.